In the healthcare industry, it’s not uncommon for conversations to be pretty one sided. In their quest to provide you with expert-level information, oftentimes doctors, nurses and physical therapists can do a lot of talking, but to get the most out of your experience, these conversations need to be back and forth in nature. You need to do plenty of listening, but we also hope you’ll provide some answers and come with some questions of your own. Below, we share some tips on how you can improve your conversation with your physical therapist.
Talking With Your Physical Therapist
If you want to get the most out of your time with your physical therapist, it pays to know how to ask the right questions and provide the right type of answers when asked by your PT. Here are some ways to improve your conversation with your physical therapist.
- Bring Any Medical Records And Imaging – Any relevant medical records or imaging results can help to kickstart your conversation. You can bring copies or you can request your medical provider forward a copy to your physical therapy clinic. Come prepared with relevant medical information and be prepared to talk with your physical therapist about your injury or surgery.
- Be Honest – We just want the best for you, and we’re not here to judge, so don’t lie or tell half truths because you’re ashamed or embarrassed about the true answer. If you say you’re doing your exercises and we’re not seeing progress, but the truth is that you’ve been slacking, that only makes it harder for us to find the right program for your needs. Come ready to have an open and honest conversation with your PT.
- Come With Questions – We love it when patients come with questions because it shows that they are really interested in their care and recovery. Feel free to come with generic questions or highly specific questions. If you want to know why we’re recommending this exercise, or you want to know the best way to improve your lateral quickness to improve your basketball defense, we’re more than happy to provide answers to your questions, but we can’t answer your questions unless you are willing to ask them!
- Think About Your Goals – We always want patients to leave our clinic with a clear understanding of their short-term and long-term goals and how we plan to help them reach these goals. We can help you set realistic goals, but start thinking about some of the goals you have for yourself. Your PT will certainly ask about your goals during your sessions, and you can improve the conversation if you’ve thought about where you see yourself three weeks or three months down the road. Spend a few minutes before your PT session thinking about some goals you want to set for yourself.
- Clear Up Confusion – Finally, please jump in and ask for clarification if there is something you just don’t understand. Sometimes doctors and physical therapists can be so focused on how they are going to help their patients heal that they overlook explaining the “why” to their patients. If you don’t understand why we’re recommending certain techniques or you want to know how this program will help you achieve your goals, please just ask for clarification. You can’t have a great conversation if you are confused about certain aspects of your care.
Let us have a great conversation with you and help you get the care you need after an injury or surgery. To find a PT you can connect with, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.